Monday, November 23, 2015

Should you dump your new Volkswagen TDI

What do you do as a Volkswagen TDI owner? Should you stop driving your new TDI VW so you can stop the pollution? Or should you keep using it knowing that it pollute much more than a V8 Suburban? Wondering are people going to judge you if you do? I’m a candidates for Northwestern University, Medill Integrated Marketing Communication with a huge passion on automobiles.

These are two articles that I suggest you reading.
The first one is called "your guide to dieselgate: Volkswagen's Diesel Cheating Catastrophe". I think this can help you understanding the issue better. It's a full description of the whole story of TDI's Diesel engine cheating. Including the technique VW use to cheat and what vehicles are effected. 
The second one is called "Car Makers Attack 'Anti-Diesel' Campaign" It gives out the facts how consumers are treating diesel cars in their mind and how World Health Organisation leads air pollution to heart disease, cancer and asthma. 
1.       Keep your car.
2.       Take action fast.
3.       Trust the true.
Design engine is clean. Just because VW cheats on their diesel engine doesn’t mean we should stop buying diesel car in general. As a VW TDI owner, do what you have to do and don’t hesitate when a diesel car catch your eyes next time.
Candidates for Northwestern University, Integrated Marketing Communication.
Twitter: @diliu66


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Digital Marketers - Social Singing a New Tune

Words and images no longer grab attention like they once predominantly did – the trend is towards video and audio. I am currently a graduate student in Medill's Integrated Marketing Communications program with several years of experience in digital media and marketing consulting. I have also served as a DJ and production director at two radio stations. (This blog post is also cross-posted at my personal blog.)

Google Buys Songza 

Spotify Acquires the Echo Nest

For the past two years I have been working in Chicago, creating social and web content. To keep up to date with current digital media and marketing trends, I am in the Medill Masters of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University. 
  • Benefits of these easy action items:
    • Research social music - This article can be a great start from you, but your own research could prove invaluable!
    • Create accounts - Either individual or corporate, it's hard to know how a service works without becoming a (free) member.
    • Research audience reach - See how partnering or advertising through these services can help you reach your audience.
So remember, research social music, create accounts, and research audience reach - you'll be singing a sweeter tune in no time flat.

For the past two years I have been working in Chicago, creating social and web content. To keep up to date with current digital media and marketing trends, I am in the Medill Masters of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University. In this way, I have also learned more about digital and social music. New media specialist / Skier and hiker / Popular culture's cool, too (Also, that's a haiku): @quickstopnirvan 

"Spotify_logo13.png (PNG Image, 650 x 195 pixels)." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2015. 

Crook, Jordan. "Google Buys Songza | TechCrunch." TechCrunch. N.p., 1 July 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015. 


Etherington, Darrell. "Spotify Acquires The Echo Nest, Gaining Control Of The Music DNA Company That 
     Powers Its Rivals | TechCrunch." TechCrunch. N.p., 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015. 


Prentiss, Patrick Hamilton. "Out of Oldeani: Social Singing a New Tune." Out of Oldeani. N.p., 30 
     Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015. < 

Behavioral Economics 101 for Marketers

As marketers are increasingly expected to make data-driven decisions to drive ROI of their marketing programs, knowing a good measure of Behavioral Economics, a growing sub-discipline of economics that attempts to explain and understand the inherent irrationalities of human behaviors that guides economic decision-making, would be of immense value to make sense of inconsistencies in human behavior. As a marketing strategist and graduate student in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, I have found two very insightful articles that will help you understand the potential of behavioral economics in uncovering unexpected insights and driving marketing decisions.

Article 1 – “A marketer’s guide to behavioral economics” by Ned Welch for Mckinsey Quarterly

Ned in his article drives the case for a more structured and systematic use of behavioral economics by marketers to unlock significant value from it.  He highlights the four practical techniques that should be a part of every marketer’s tool-kit as they think about using behavioral economics to guide their marketing decisions.
Read the article here on McKinsey.

Article 2  - “Rethinking Marketing and Customers : Lessons from Behavioral Economics” by Ravi Dhar, Emily Haisley, Michael Sanders, Ned Welch

This article talks about opportunities, and inherent challenges of turning the academic findings of Behavioral Economics into practical solutions that can be used by organizations.

Read the article here on Yale Insights.

Based on the insights, here are three  key learnings from Behavioral Economics that can dramatically improve your ability to uncover unexpected consumer insights and drive marketing decisions:
  • Consumers are not rational –Accept and embrace the idea that consumers are neither fully rational nor fully aware of what drives their own economic decision-mak
  • You can predict the unpredictable- Recognize that you have the ability to predict the irrationality in consumer decision making to drive marketing decisions.
  • Opportunity for B2B –Behavior Economics is not just for B2C, it is equally relevant for B2B situations as well. Businesses are a collection of individuals after all.
This is just the beginning of how Behavioral Economics can guide your marketing decisions. Keep learning more about your customer through this exciting field.

About the Author:
Asha Vaidyanath is a marketing professional with expertise in customer-centric approach to solving marketing problems.  She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

You can follow her on Twitter @abrimfulofasha, and read her blog here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

3 ways the programmatic industry can become customer-centric

As the CEO of a programmatic technology company, you know that the industry is constantly changing and the decisions you make must address that change. As a student in the Northwestern Medill Integrated Marketing Communications program, former strategic planner and former consultant to a programmatic company, I have found two articles which provide helpful insights on how your programmatic company can become customer-centric and help your team rise to the top.

This Mediapost article explains how the programmatic industry struggles to be customer-centric because of the lack of understanding of the technology itself – a knowledge gap, from an internal agency & advertiser stand point. It brings to the table, concerns of how the industry will carry on selling something when it is not completely understood. Another article from MarketingTech also touches upon how the lack of knowledge of the technology might result into lack of confidence in technology and mistrust over transparency from a customer’s perspective. Thus, the root problem for the industry still lies in the fact that there is a huge knowledge gap that needs to be corrected if the industry wants to achieve sustainable growth.

Based on the problems identified, the industry needs to focus on being customer-centric in order to bridge the knowledge gap and help the customer build more confidence in the technology itself. Through my experience at Northwestern University and IMC, I recommend these three tips to become customer-centric and bridge the knowledge gap for customers:
  • Training programs for customers- Training programs will be a great medium to connect with customers; they will ensure that the company can have open conversations with your customers about the challenges they face with the technology. It will not just help educate but will also help the product team understand problems from the customer's perspective.
  • Customers are experts- The idea is also to make customers feel like they are experts in order to make them even more confident about their investments in programmatic buying.
  • Avoid jargon- It is essential that the content and collateral that the programmatic company produces, makes the complexities of the engineering technology simple. The tonality of the content should be simple and easy to understand for the customers.
Thus, if a programmatic company wants sustainable growth, the first thing it needs to do is become customer-centric and reduce the knowledge that exists internally and externally. Companies which can successfully reduce the knowledge gap, will be the ones who succeed and will gain customer's trust. 

Isha Deodhar is an experienced data-driven marketing and strategy professional with over three years of industry experience in Consumer Products & B2B Technology Strategy. She has a Master's in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University as well as a Master's in Economics. You can follow her on @ishadeodhar on Twitter and Linkedin.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Impact of Launching “customer match” on Google Adwords

Being as an online marketer, we are very interest in the tools we are using. The change of the functions will have great impact on our future marketing strategy. Last week, Google announces a new adverting targeting tool to compete with Facebook’s “Custom Audiences.” According to Google, “Customer Match helps you strengthen connections with your known customer base and forge new relationships across three of the web’s most powerful platforms: YouTube, Gmail, and search.” What will be the impact of the new function for the future direct marketing? And how can our marketers leverage this new function?

One article posted on written by Francis Shovlin, who worked as PPC lead in SEER interactive. He points out 5 quick tactics through leverage the new function. The first is boost retention and re-engage with customer, in this way marketers can find their old customers back through define them through email contents. Second, the new change can let marketers promote similar or updated products. This is like suggest the similar product you are interested in on Third, in additional to targeting users by their email, you can find out the similar segment customers. Forth, through leverage the email, you can exclude existing customer in the campaign, in this way it can avoid customers negative emotion on redundant information. Finally, it can make marketer better understand their customer behavior across different devices. Marketer can target users regardless of their devices as long as they’re logged in.

Another article written by Michal Borowczyk on Email Marketing Tips Blog, is also discussing about how to reach the audience with the new function. In this article, the author pointed out the new function “will be able to display ads to those people who already signed up for your newsletter, bought a product from you, downloaded an ebook or in any other way gave your company their email address.”

Since the function of creating “similar audiences”, you can simply adding them to ad groups. In this circumstance the PPC can be more personal. “You can serve them personalized ads based on what type of action they performed on your website. You can use it to win back previous customers, exclude existing customers, up & cross-sell, suggest joining your new loyalty program or for dozens other purposes you can think of.” The author also lists out how to execute on Google Adwaords in her article.

After reading these two blogs, I totally believe the new function is helping us target out customer precisely. Now, you are able to use your first hand data to influence your messaging and target customer audience segments based on past online and offline behaviors across devices. This will result in more relevant ads that more accurately capture your customers’ individual needs, while providing more visibility into cross-device conversions. As a result, you’ll reach a much more qualified audience and be better able to streamline how you spend your marketing dollars.
During the time marketers are cheering for the new technology, one old topic--- privacy--- is still making people to consider. Although queried on the topic, Google so far responds that the company will manage the customer match program in a way that preserves safety and privacy, however analysts are still wondering how the firm will preserve the privacy and security of its user base.

Jennifer Wang is a MSc. Candidate in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University with an emphasis on digital marketing and marketing analytics. She previously worked as a Marketing Communication Manager for Follow her @jenluwang

3 Tips to Prospect using Big Data

Does it happen to you when you have a huge audience but only a few converted and don’t know why? Are you tracking the right metrics in the context of social media?

Maybe not. But it’s not your fault because there are simply too many things to look at one single campaign. What we need to do before looking at the numbers to make sure that we know what we mean by customer value. From the perspective of IMC analyst, I found two relevant articles that will help you think right and measure right.

This article talks about the rationale behind choosing the right metrics to measure the campaign. Marketers should have a new measurement mindset. Instead of counting ROI of everything, they should focus on insight generation to explore the potential reasons. But in order to find appropriate metrics that align with customer value, we need to align the business goals with customer decision journey, so that the metrics measuring that journey will be able to communicate the insight needed to optimize value.

This article explains the difference between common metrics including impressions, click, CTR etc. And an important point made in this article is that we shouldn’t use data to complete our own story but interpret data in the way it is. Data should not be used to prove value because it will lead analyst into data manipulation. We don’t want to have presumptions before drawing insight from data and that will only make the conclusion biased with human errors. Data should be used to improve actual customer value instead of providing stories for marketing campaigns.

Call to action:
  1. Use data to improve value
  2. Align communication goals with business goals
  3.  Don’t manipulate data, interpret it
Campaign can only be improved when we use the right metrics and when we use them right.

Professional Summary(LinkedIn):

I’m Hongyu, graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communications program in Northwestern University and my major focus is on marketing analytics. It’s my pleasure to contribute to the marketing analytical community and bring new thoughts into the conversation. And I endeavor to exploit more potential on data analytics in the field of digital media.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Journalists: 3 trends that show how your digital news business can thrive in the digital era

As a journalist you know the question media managers all around the globe seek to answer is the same: how can newspapers thrive in the digital era? As a graduate student in Northwestern's Medill Media Strategy and Leadership program who is exploring the intersection of media and technology, I have found two insightful articles to share on what traditional newspapers are doing in the U.S. to reinvent their business in the digital era and acquire more subscribers.

In the document "Our Path Forward", an 11-page manifesto released in the beginning of October, the newspaper The New York Times announced it has hit a 1 million digital subscribers mark in August and reveals interesting information about how it has reached this number. Now the Times has a new goal: to double its digital revenue from $400 to 800 million until 2020. To achieve its new goal the newspaper will have to double the number of engaged digital readers and create a relationship with them so they can later become subscribers, as highlighted by Ken Doctor on the website Newsonomics.

One of the options the Times consider is to engage with the digital native generation of millennials. But there is a challenge: a recent study from American Press Institute reveals that Millennials are willing to pay for content but not so much for news.

In the same week Rick Edmonds from Poynter published an article about Gannett’s surprise acquisition of Journal Media Group (which is responsible for the former Scripps papers and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). Gannett, the company that owns the newspaper USA Today, said the acquisition has the goal of increasing its audience as it translates to better prospects for digital ad sales. The combined operations will have 100 million monthly unique visitors

Based on the ideas in these articles and my my studies in Northwestern Medill Journalism program, here are three trends any journalist and publisher should consider to be successful in the digital market:

1 - Focus on your brand, not clicks: Reader's attention is fragmented, so journalists and newspapers need to develop their brands to increase the chances readers will look for their specific content and maybe pay a subscription.

2 - Think global: Gannett is trying to increase its readership across the whole USA so they increase the number of subscribers and clicks, something that has worked for the Times. As the internet has no boundaries and remove logistic limitations, newspapers can now work more actively to reach broader audiences.

3 - Listen to the online conversation: Digital platforms give journalists real-time feedback from their readers and are valuable sources of insights about what they want to read the most, what has to be improved and where are the next stories.

The traditional business model of media companies is dying, journalism is not. This is an exciting and challenging time to be a journalist. A time when engaged journalists are needed to create innovative content and good stories are more important than ever to brands that want to survive the commoditization of news and be relevant.

Ligia Aguilhar is a Master of Science Candidate in the Media Strategy and Leadership program at Medill - Northwestern University. She has worked as a tech reporter and editor in Brazil and conducted research on new business models in journalism with support of International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). At Medill she studies the intersection of media and technology as a McCormick Fellow. She is the author of a blog about innovation and technology.

Follow Ligia on Twitter or connect through LinkedIn